Sound — 9
After their sucessful 1993 debut album, "Undertow" the band progress to new and epic sounds. After removing D'Amour from the bass guitar, for artist reason -allegedly - they brought in new, british, bassist, Justin Chancellor to join the party. Now I have to say, I love "Undertow", it's a great album, but I don't think the band would have got anywhere near as good as they have today if it wasn't for switching bassist's. And the atmosphere change from "Undertow" to "Aenima" is massive. Every track on this album is awesome; from the heavy and catchy song "Hooker With A Penis" to the frankly genius "Pushit" where Maynard sings, "pushit on me, put sh-t on me." It's stuff like that that makes Tool so different. They album itself has alot of jams, interludes in the songs, but if that's not your sort of thing, the wait for the build up is well worth it. Justin takes his imagination along for the ride, grabbing the book of rules for bass playing and chucks it out of the window. Danny's drumming is absolutely stunning, and Adam Jones' guitar playing is as unique as ever.
Lyrics — 10
Ahhh, Tool's lyrics. Something even the most hardcore of fan has studied frantically to find out what the hell Maynard is on about. He is one of the best lyricist's of our time. He has a cleaver way about his words, like I said earlier, "Pushit" was cleaver for mixing the two words together, leaving you thinking, "did he just say what I thought he just said?" But the same is done with very cynical song "Aenima", where he say's the words "learn to swin, I can swim", mixing the two words so smoothly, it's hard to tell which one he's actually saying. Overall, every Tool album, both vocally and lyrically is always top of its game.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is considered to be the favourite among hardcore Tool fans, I'm sat right there next to them. This album is stunning. It's not to everyone's taste though, as I said before, there are alot of jams, interludes and a couple of tracks with odd noises. But if you like that sort of prog tradition, your in for a treat.